Re: Absolute best source?
My Meridian G Series disc spinners were music to my ears and while costly are not as much as say Wadia or ML and perform equally as well. I do like ML players. I'm also a fan of Musical Fidelity and Linn as well.
You could argue that the best source is one that gets a lot of play and can play many things in which case the best universal players have all of the before mentioned beat. I know its not a purist viewpoint but then again, in terms of usage and daily livability a good music server like ReQuest or DIY job makes for a fine source as well.